Page images
[blocks in formation]

2 And the woman said unto the ser

a 13-15. Is. 27:1. Matt. 10:16. | Heb. Yea, because, &c. 2 Cor. 11:3,14. Rev. 12:9. 20:2. | b Matt. 4:3,6,9.

his blessing on them, use them according to his appointment, and attend to the duties which they require according to his command; let us not forget, that a union must be formed with the Lord Jesus, of which marriage itself is but a type and shadow. (2 Cor. 11:2.) We must be one spirit with him, and cleave to him in simple dependence, cordial attachment, and devoted obedience and submission; even though it should interfere with the comfort of that most endeared relation. Then death, which dissolves all other unions, will complete this to eternal ages.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Ex. 20:7. 1 Kings 22:6. Jer. 14:13,14. 29:2,3. Ez. 13:2—6, 22. 2 Cor. 11:3,13-15. g 7. Matt. 6:23. Acts 26:18.


d 20:6. Ex. 19:12,13. 1 Chr. 16:
22. Job 1:11. 2:5. 19:21. 1 Cor.
7:1. 2 Cor. 6:17. Col. 2:21.
e 13. Deut. 29:19. Ps. 10:11.
creation to a state of rebellion, anarchy, and
misery, and rendering all creatures as vile and
wretched as themselves.-Doubtless, the beau-
ty of the recently created world, the glory of
God, and the happiness of man, excited the
envy and rage of these evil spirits, and sug-
gested to Satan the malicious design of ruining
the whole. For this purpose, he, with dark
craftiness, concealed himself in the subtle ser-
pent, and thus made his unsuspected attack on
the woman when alone; perhaps insinuating
that by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree,
the serpent had acquired the gift of reason and
speech: nor can we satisfactorily account for
the woman's entering into conversation with
the serpent, and shewing no marks of surprise
or suspicion, unless we admit a supposition of
this kind. Some learned men indeed have con-
jectured, that this serpent appeared so beauti-
ful and resplendent, that Eve supposed it to be
an angel, and listened to it as a heavenly mes-
senger; and they confirm this opinion by ob-
serving, that the fiery serpents are called in
the original Seraphim; (Num. 21:6,8.) as the
heavenly worshippers are by Isaiah; (Is. 6:2.)
and that the apostle notes, that "Satan is trans-
formed into an angel of light," in the same
chapter in which he says, "The serpent be-
guiled Eve by his subtlety." (2 Cor. 11:3,14.)
This supposition, however, makes more excuse
for the conduct both of Eve and Adam, than
the word of God authorizes; and certainly we
cannot learn it from the narrative.-Nothing
can be conceived more artful than Satan's first
address; "Yea, hath God said?" "How is it that
"God should speak thus? Can it be true, that
he has given you appetites, and placed gratifi-
'cations before you, only to mock you?-You
must misunderstand his meaning; or some en-
'vious being has counterfeited his authority; or
at least it must be allowed to be a very capri-
'cious restraint.' Such insinuations were art-
fully couched in this insidious question, and
such objections are continually raised by him
and his instruments, against every restriction
in the word of God which calls for self-denial.
-It is observable, that no notice is taken of
the largeness of the grant, but merely of its

CHAP. III. V. 1. Adam and Eve, perhaps, had noticed with pleasure and partiality, that the serpent possessed an instinctive sagacity, which more resembled the effects of reason, than that of any other creature did; and this might suggest to Satan the device of using this animal as his instrument in temptation. For the serpent appeared to speak, but in reality Satan spake by the serpent; as, in the days of Christ, the unclean spirits employed the tongues of possessed persons. Common sense and the whole Scripture lead us to conclude, that the serpent was only the instrument; Satan the real agent, who is therefore called the serpent, the old dragon, a liar, and a murderer from the beginning. (Note, Rev. 12:7-12.)-The word of God reveals to us the world of spirits, holy and unholy, of which otherwise we should have had no certain knowledge. Faith avails itself of this information; but unbelief rejects it to the infidel's irreparable detriment: as nothing better answers the purpose of the powers of darkness, than to work in the dark; and none serve their interests more effectually, than they who deny and endeavor to disprove their existence; for we never can guard against the attacks of unseen and unsuspected enemies. From the Scriptures we learn, that "angels sinned, and kept not their first estate;" and that, being created holy and happy, they by transgression forfeited the favor, and incurred the displeasure, of their Creator, and became unholy and miserable; yea, desperate in the certain expectation of increasing and ever- || lasting misery. Being, however, still endued V. 2, 3. The first mistake of the woman with vast capacities, profound sagacity, exten- seems to have consisted, in attempting to ansive knowledge, and great power; and, wholly swer the ensnaring question proposed to her. actuated by enmity, malice, envy, pride, ambi-She ought not to have listened for a moment to tion, and subtlety; they maintain determined rebellion against their Maker: and as they are very numerous, they have established a kingdom in opposition to his kingdom, under the dominion of the arch-apostate, the Devil or Satan; so that, as far as they are permitted, they are unwearied and insatiable in mischief aiming at nothing less than reducing the whole

such suggestions; nor to have entered into a parley with one, whose words directly tended to excite hard thoughts of God and of his express command. She mentioned the grant of the bountiful Creator, but not in the expressive language in which it had been made; "Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat;" and she added to the restriction, "neither shall ve

[blocks in formation]

touch it." This is, indeed, an excellent precaution; we should not come within the attractive force of forbidden objects: yet it seems, as here used, to be an intimation of severity in the prohibition. The Lord had said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die:" hut the undoubted certainty of the event is here omitted. Indeed it is evident, that the poison began to work; Eve made too little of the liberal grant of the Creator, stated the prohibition in strong terms of severity, and rather faultered as to the certain and immediate execution of the threatening.


7 And opened, and

11 Tim. 2:14.

[Practical Observations.]


the eyes of them both were they knew that they were

[ocr errors]

m Hos. 6:7. Marg. Rom. 5:12


n 5. Deut. 28.34. Luke 16:23. o 10,11. 2:25.

V. 6. "The lust of the eye" made way for the "lust of the flesh;" when the woman looked on the fruit, till she fancied there must be some very extraordinary pleasure in the taste of it. As her ear, formed to receive the truth of God, had just before been opened to admit Satan's lies; so now the eye, formed to behold his works, became an inlet to concupiscence. Now first the members became, as they have ever since continued in unconverted men, "instruments of unrighteousness unto sin." (Notes, Rom. 6: 12,13,16-19.) Eve had no testimony except that of Satan concealed in the serpent, that V. 4, 5. Perceiving his advantage, the temp-"it was a tree to be desired to make one wise;" ter grew bolder, and gave a direct contradic-yet she neither hesitated, nor suspected any tion to the divine denunciation; and, to gain delusion; but, at his instance, "she took of the the more credit to his daring assertions, he fruit, and did eat," without consulting Adam, proceeded to confirm them by an oath, blas- or allowing herself leisure for consideration! phemously calling on God to attest his horrid Thus she listened to the tempter, till, entangled falsehoods: or rather, he insinuated that the in unbelief, she suspected the divine veracity Lord knew his own threatening would not be and goodness, conceived hopes of impunity in executed, at least in the sense in which Adam transgression, and expected a vast gratificaand Eve had understood it; but that, on the tion both of ambition and of the sensual appetite; contrary, most abundant advantage would ac- and at length, with confident presumption, she crue to them from the violation of the Creator's took the forbidden fruit, and ate. In this manlaw: no less than a vast advance in knowledge, ner was "lust at first conceived, then sin brought and an independent felicity, without subjection forth; and sin being finished, brought forth to the will, or dread of the displeasure, of any death."-But Satan's success was yet incomsuperior. Thus he insinuated, that God forbad plete: for had Adam refused to eat, the womthis fruit, in order to keep them in ignorance, an's transgression would have remained with and in a mean state of dependence and subjec- herself. It was, indeed, a great point gained tion. There is likewise an equivocation in the to prevail with her whom Adam loved so tenwords; a latent truth, the reverse of their ap-derly, and one who would employ her fascinatparent meaning. "Your eyes," says Satan, ing influence, to prevail on him to follow her "shall be opened;" that is, 'When you have example. But whether Adam sinned in pre"eaten the fruit, you will too late see your own sumption, as not seeing death immediately infolly. "Ye shall be as gods;" revolted from flicted on Eve; or in despair, as giving up all "God, and losing his image and favor, you will for lost; or as overcome by Eve's persuasions 'ambitiously affect independency; demand the and reasonings, it does not clearly appear. Yet 'homage of flattery and praise; aspire at the the apostle intimates, that he was not deceived 'pinnacle of pre-eminence, and grasp at domin- in the same manner and degree as the woman. ion; act as if you were your own lords and (1 Tim. 2:14.)-Considering this offence in all avengers; and thus attempt to usurp the throne its circumstances, and with all its aggravations, "of God. By this conduct you will be left to we may term it the prolific parent and grand 'make trial of your ability to contrive, effect, exemplar of all the transgressions committed and secure a happiness to yourselves, as if ye ever since. Whatever there hath been in any 'were gods, till you find death and misery seize sin, of unbelief, ingratitude, apostasy, rebel"upon you; "knowing good and evil," by losing lion, robbery, contempt, defiance of God, hard "the good and experiencing the evil.'-Of such thoughts of him, and enmity against him: whata paraphrase the words will admit, and such ever of idolatry, as comprehending faith in have been the effects of eating the forbidden Satan, "the god" and "prince of this world," fruit; but nothing could be further from Eve's worship of him, and obedience to him; or ot thoughts than this interpretation. Thus the pride, exorbitant self-love, and self-will, in afassertions of the tempter resembled the an- fecting that independency, exaltation, and hom cient heathen oracles, of which, in one way or age which belong only to God; and of an inorother, this "father of lies" was doubtless the dinate love to the creatures, in seeking out author: for these were generally couched in happiness in the possession and enjoyment of such ambiguous language, as might afterwards them: whatever discontent. sensual lust, covbe accommodated to the event; though often etousness, murder, and mischief, were ever yet in direct opposition to the disappointed expec- contained in any one sin, or in all which have tations of the deluded votaries. Nothing is been committed upon earth. the whole were 'more common, than for the most false and per- concentred in this one transaction. Nor have nicious doctrines to be advanced with a bold- they been wide of the truth, who have labored 'ness, which stuns the minds of the simple, and to prove, that all the ten commandments, exinduces a doubt; Surely I must be in the wrong, tensively and spiritually expounded, were at and they in the right, or they would not be so once violated; while, in proportion as the proconfident!' Fuller. hibition was reasonable, and the inducements

naked; P and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee, that thou shouldest not eat?

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the + cool of the day: and Adam and his wife 12 And the man said, The woman hid themselves from the presence of the whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave LORD God amongst the trees of the gar-me of the tree, and I did eat. den.

9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?


[ocr errors]

13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? and the woman said, a The serpent be

[Practical Observations.]

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in || guiled me, and I did eat. the garden: and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Job 9:29-31. Is. 28:20. 59:6,
Or, things to gird about.

q 10. Deut. 4:33. 5:25.

Heb. wind. Job 38:1.

r Job 22:14. 34:22. Ps. 139:1-u
12. Prov. 15:3. Jer. 23:24. Am.
9:2,3. Jon. 1:3,9,10. Heb. 4:13.

14 T And the LORD God said unto the

$4:9. 16:8. Josh. 7:17-19. Rev. || Serpent, Because thou hast done this thou


t Job 23:15. Ps. 119: 120. Is. 33:
14. 57:11.

7. 2:25. Ex. 32:25. Is. 47:3.
Rev. 3:17,18. 16:15.

[blocks in formation]

to rebel against it trifling, the offence was the I shall hereafter assign my reasons for thinking, more aggravated. In this manner sin entered, that this hypothesis has its sole foundation in and Satan triumphed in establishing his usurped the imaginations of Jewish Rabbies, and is authority; "for of whom a man is overcome, of totally destitute of scriptural proof, except the same is he brought in bondage." Thus where express mention is made of visible glory. man apostatized, God was provoked, the Holy (Note, 32:30.) "The cool of the day" was, probSpirit forsook his polluted temple, the unclean ably, one time of Adam and Eve's accustomed spirit took possession, the divine image was worship; when, doubtless, they had been used defaced, and Satan's image impressed in its to welcome the tokens of the divine presence stead: hence the wickedness and the misery of with that kind of exulting joy, with which a man. A lamentation it is, and should be: yet, dutiful child meets the approbation of an in"righteous art thou in all thy judgments, O dulgent parent. But now, conscious guilt inLORD." Let not the enemy further prevail spired terror; and they desired to flee and hide against us, we beseech thee, by taking hence themselves from God, as no longer their loving occasion to produce in our minds one hard Father and bounteous Friend, but their dreadthought of thee, or of thy mysterious judgments! || ed Enemy, who was about to take vengeance V. 7. Satan's promise soon began to be ac- on them. Where was now the wisdom, which complished. The eyes of Adam and Eve were they were to derive from the forbidden fruit? opened to see the snare, when they were al- Alas! they could only devise a foolish project of ready caught in it: they saw also misery before hiding themselves from the all-seeing eye of them with horror and dismay, and their new God, under the shade of a few trees! (M. R.) discoveries were their torment. Their bodily nakedness had not previously excited the sensation of shame: but being stripped of the robe of innocence, and despoiled of the image of God, the defence of his protection, and the honor of his presence, they perceived that they were indeed made naked to their shame; and their outward nakedness appeared an indica- || tion of the exposed and shameful condition to V. 10, 11. Adam did not say, 'I saw thy which they were reduced. Their vain attempt glory,' but "I heard thy voice;" which implies to cover themselves, by fig-leaves platted to- that he saw nothing to affright him; but merely gether, represents the fruitless pains and worth-that conscious guilt appalled him, on hearing less expedients, which men employ to conceal their real character, and hide their sins from each other, and even from themselves. For all men are naturally more ashamed of being detected in sin, than of committing it; and more desirous of keeping up a good opinion of themselves, than of obtaining pardon from God: though they can hide nothing from him, and can neither elude his justice, nor recover his favor, by any of their own contrivances.

V. 9. Where art thou?] Words of more terror, perhaps, never sounded in man's ears, or will be heard till the day of judgment!—The command had been peremptory, the threatening absolute, the transgression undeniable; no escape or resistance was practicable; no mention had been made of mercy, and probably the offenders had no expectation of forgiveness.

the accustomed tokens of God's special pres ence.-Without any humiliation before his of fended Lord, or confession of sin, or supplication for mercy, he evasively attempted to account for his flight and concealment. But the true cause was at once detected. It arose from conscious guilt, for he had dared to transgress the righteous command of the Most High. Thus "every mouth shall be stopped," and every excuse silenced, when God shall arise to judgment.-"Who told thee that thou wast naked?” Whence could arise this idea? It had before no

V. 8. Some visible tokens of the Lord's presence, perhaps in human form, seem here intimated, of which we shall hereafter find un-existence. deniable instances; and which should be considered as anticipations of his incarnation, who is called "The Word of God:" though the word rendered walking may be referred to the voice, and not to the LORD.-Some learned men, indeed, explain all these appearances of the SHECHINAH, or visible glory indicating the divine presence, which at some times shone with mild lustre, at others in terrific majesty. But

[ocr errors]

V. 12, 13. Adam could neither deny nor excuse his transgression of his Creator's most express mandate; yet, instead of frankly confessing it, he cast the blame upon the woman; as if he had been allowed to hearken to her, rather than to obey God! Nay, he covertly charged the blame upon the Lord himself, saying, "The woman, whom THOU gavest me."-Here we discern the pride, and stoutness of heart, which



art cursed above all cattle, and above || seed and her Seed: it shall bruise thy beast of the field: upon thy belly head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. 15 And I will put thee and the woman,

c Ps. 72:9. Is. 29:4. 65:25. Mic. 7:17.

d Num. 21:6,7. Am. 9:3. Mark 16:18. Luke 10:19. Acts 28:3

d enmity between and between ethy

6. Rom. 3:13.

e Matt. 3:7. 12:34. 13:38. 23,33.
John 8:44. Acts 13:10. 1 John

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy confls. 7:14. Jer. 31:22. Mic. 5:3.h 49:17. Is. 53:3,4,12. Dan. 9:26.

Matt. 1:23. Luke 1:31-35. Matt. 4:1-10. Luke 22:39—
Gal. 4:4.

g Rom. 16:20. Col. 2:15. Heb.
2:14,15. 1 John 3:8. Rev. 20:

44,53. John 12:31-33. 14:30, 31. Heb 2:18. 5:7. Rev. 2:10. 12:9-13. 13:7. 15:1-6. 20:7,8.

characterize that evil spirit, who had just set up his kingdom in Adam's heart. The woman likewise discovered the same spirit, in her vain attempt to exculpate herself, by throwing the blame upon the Serpent.

well as the success which the Lord vouchsafes
them, excite the rage, envy, and malice of Sa-
tan and his servants; whose pride they affront,
whose consciences they disturb, whose real
characters they detect, and whose iniquity they
oppose. (M. R.) Hence Satan and his seed,
by open violence and cruel persecutions, by
secret machinations and base slanders, by art-
ful temptations and pernicious heresies, fight
against the "Seed of the woman."
In doing
this, they "bruise his heel." They once "cru-
cified the Lord of Glory" himself; they have
massacred perhaps millions of his disciples, and
by one means or other are always bringing in-
ward or outward tribulations on them: yet this
is no mortal wound, for it does not hinder the
final glorification of the whole multitude, who
thus in succession have "Satan bruised under
their feet."-"The seed of the woman," fight-
ing under the Redeemer's standard, by the doc-
trine of truth and the armor of righteousness,
which are united with prayers and patience,
on their benevolent war; and they gain most
illustrious victories, when the power of Satan
is broken, and his deluded servants are con-
verted unto Christ. But their victories are the
fruit of his severe conflict, and glorious triumph
over the tempter, especially upon the cross;
where, in human nature, giving himself a ran-
som for sinners, he broke the whole force of
Satan's usurped empire: and now, risen from
the dead, and having "all power in heaven and
earth" vested in him, he is continually employ-

V. 14, 15. It is probable, that the serpent was previously beautiful and innoxious; but it now assumed the reptile form, and became mischievous and hateful. From that season, serpents have been more shunned, and persecuted unto death, as enemies to the human race, than almost any other animal: by the venomous bite of many of them they have often severely avenged themselves; and, by reason of their proneness on the earth, they eat their food mingled with dust. Thus the words may imply a visible punishment to be executed on the serpent, as the instrument in this temptation: but the curse was in reality directed against the invisible tempter; whose abject degraded condition, and base endeavors to find satisfaction in rendering others wicked and miserable, might be figuratively intimated, by the ser-hatred of sin, and compassion for sinners, carry pent's moving on his belly, and feeding on the dust. Yet this curse on Satan is expressed in language, which contains the sum of all the blessings, which a merciful God bestows on sinful man! It is a prophecy and a promise, which have ever since been fulfilling, but have not yet received their entire accomplishment. It comprises the whole Gospel, and a prophetical history of the opposition with which it should meet, and the success with which it should be crowned, in all ages and countries to the end of time.-Christ himself is "the Seeded in crushing the Serpent's head; yet in measof the woman," as the most illustrious of the ure and order, "according to the purpose of human race. Yet all true believers, as one with him, who worketh all things after the counsel him, are also included. He is called the Seed of his own will." Eph. 1:11. Already, by his of the woman, and not the Seed of Adam, though apostles and ministers, he hath shaken the very descended from both; not only because Satan foundations of Satan's kingdom, and rescued had prevailed first against the woman, but like- millions of his wretched captives: but ere long wise with an evident prophetical intimation of he will even on earth gain a more decisive vichis miraculous conception and birth of a pure tory; and at last, setting his foot, as it were, on virgin. Maimonides, an eminent Jewish writer, the Serpent's head, he will entirely crush his says, 'This is one of the passages in Scripture interests, deprive him of all power to do fur"which is most wonderful, and not to be under-ther mischief, and execute condign punishment 'stood according to the letter; but contains on all bis seed. (Notes, Rev. 19:17-21. 20:1great wisdom in it.' 'In which words he wrote 3,11-15.)-From this short explication we permore truth than he was aware, but was not ceive, that the person, sufferings, glory, and "able to unfold this hidden wisdom, as we Chris- triumphs of the Redeemer; the character, tribtians, blessed be God, are able to do.' Bp. ulations, and felicity of the redeemed; the Patrick.-The devil, his angels, and wicked temporary success and final ruin of all the enemen, are the Serpent and his seed: "Ye are of mies of Christ and his people; and indeed alyour father, the devil, and the works of your most the whole history of the church, and of father ye will do." God himself hath put en- the world, through time and to eternity, are mity between these two contending parties. compendiously delineated in this singular The effect of his grace in the heart of true verse; which stands, and will stand to the end Christians is enmity, not against the persons of of time, an internal demonstration that the sinners, but against their character, the image Scripture was given by inspiration from God. of Satan which they bear, and the cause of-Satan's cause would be ruined by one in a Satan which they favor; for "that mind is in believers which was in Christ," "who was manifested to destroy the works of the devil." Their character and conduct also, the testimony which they bear against the wickedness of the world, and the opposition which they make to it, as VOL. I.


nature inferior to his own; by one emphatically called the "Seed of the woman," over whom the tempter had triumphed; and the victory over the enemy would be obtained, not only by the Messiah, but by all his servants. (Note, Er. 8: 16,17.)-It is remarkable that this gracious


[blocks in formation]

17 And unto Adam he said, ° Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, P and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

35:16-18. 1 Sam. 4:19-21.
Ps. 43:6. Is. 13:8. 21:3. 26:17,
18. 53:11. Jer. 4:31. John 16:
21. 1 Thes. 5:3. 1 Tim. 2:15.
m 4:7.

*Or, subject to thy husband.
n 1 Cor. 11:3. 14:34. Eph. 5:
22-24. 1 Tim. 2:11,12. Tit. 2:
5. 1 Pet. 3:1-6.

o 1 Sam. 15:23,24. Matt. 22:12.
25:26,27,45. Luke 19:22. Rom.

p 11. 2:16,17. Jer. 7:23,24.

q 5:29. Ps. 127:2. Ec. 1:2,3,13,
14. 2:11,17. Is. 24:5,6. Rom. 8:

r Job 5:6,7. 14:1. Ps. 90:7-9.
Ec. 2:22,23. 5:17. John 16:33.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

† Heb. cause to bud.

t Ps. 104.14,15. Rom. 14:2.

u Ec. 1:3. Luke 22:44. Eph. 4:
28. 1 Thes. 2:9. 2 Thes. 3:

[blocks in formation]

z 23:4. Job 19:26. Ps. 104:29. Ec. 3:20. 12:7. Dan. 12:2 Rom. 5:12-21. 1 Cor. 15:21, 22.

a 2:20,23. 5:29. 16:11. 29:3235. 35:19. Ex. 2:10. 1 Sam. 1: 20. Matt. 1:21,23.

blessings intended for them: but "he cursed the ground for his sake;" that as he had transgressed in eating the forbidden fruit, so he might be chastised in the labor and sorrow connected with his future sustenance. In con

weeds and plants spring up spontaneously, and both grow and multiply with immense rapidity. These must be eradicated, the soil prepared, and much labor bestowed, before the precious fruits of the earth can be obtained: hence incessant fatigue, pain, and penury are the lot of the bulk of mankind; which would not have

promise of a Savior was given unsolicited, and previous to any humiliation on the part of man. (Note, Rom. 5:7-10.) Without a revelation of mercy, inspiring hope of forgiveness, the convinced sinner would be hardened in despair: this intimation therefore formed that encour-sequence of this curse, useless and noxious agement to hope, which was followed by true repentance and true religion, (as it is generally supposed,) in fallen Adam and Eve: and though the revelation was at first obscure, it became brighter and brighter, like the increasing light of the morning, till "the Sun of righteousness arose with healing in his wings." V. 16. The woman was first in the trans-been the case, had not sin occasioned it. And gression, and had tempted Adam, as the serpent at last, the herb of the field, the ordinary produchad tempted her; she therefore next received tions of the earth, were substituted for the deher sentence, respecting the sufferings to which licious fruits of Eden, as a sharp rebuke for she and her daughters would be subjected. It man's coveting and eating the forbidden fruit. cannot be supposed, that pain or sorrow would The weight of this part of the sentence falls have been connected with pregnancy, or child-chiefly on the man, to whom it is addressed, as bearing, had not sin been committed: but now, that of the former on the woman. Nor was any the Lord threatened to multiply the woman's respite or termination of this labor and sorrow sorrows, even those of her conception; so that, in to be expected, till death should consign the a world of suffering, the pains and sufferings of body to the earth again, to mingle with its orithe female sex are thus greatly multiplied indeed,||ginal dust.-As we feel that this sentence, in almost beyond expression.-It might therefore every part, is in full force against the whole have been expected, that on this account wom- || human species; it is absurd to deny that we an would generally prefer the single state, and were all joined in the covenant with Adam, thus prevent the increase of the human species: our common representative. (Marg. Ref. q—z.) but God (according to the probable meaning of But as the sentence upon the Serpent couched, the expression as used in this connexion, Note, under its outward meaning, the threatening 4:6,7.) hath so ordered it, that marriage is not-of vengeance on the invisible tempter, so the withstanding generally chosen even by the death denounced against the body, which is suffering sex.-The authority of the husband, but "the instrument of unrighteousness," comwhen exercised uniformly with wisdom and ten-prehends also the awful punishment prepared derness, would have increased mutual felicity: for the soul, the deviser of every sin, and the but, by the entrance of sin, it is often converted real agent in committing it. This is evinced into unreasonable and unfeeling despotism, and by the sinful propensities of the human race, becomes an additional source of misery to vast compared with the threatenings of "the wrath numbers of unhappy females: and they too are of God against every soul of man, that doeth equally prone to neglect the duties of their evil." Our very nature is fallen under the station, which occasions a still further increase curse for Adam's sake, and produces only sinful of misery and distraction. To prevent or miti-desires, words, and actions, unless renewed by gate these evils, submission in things lawful is here commanded, notwithstanding this change in the conduct of the husband, which seems also to be predicted.—'It is well, that enmity was not 'put between the man and woman, in the manner that it is betwixt her seed and that of the 'serpent.' Henry.

divine grace: for in the very day in which Adam sinned, he died, he became spiritually dead, the Holy Spirit having left his soul: and all capacity of delighting in the holy service and spiritual worship of God, is extinct in every descendant of Adam, till "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" restores divine life, by regeneV. 17-19. The plea, by which Adam tried ration. Indeed, the apostle directly opposes to extenuate his crime, was adduced as the the death which came by Adam, to the life reason of his punishment: instead of hearken- which comes by Christ: and therefore, if the ing to the voice of God, he had hearkened to one is eternal, so is the other. (Rom. 5:12— the voice of Eve, whom he was appointed to 19.) Thus all are concluded under sin and counsel and command, not to obey. Yet the wrath, and none but Jesus, the Mediator of a Lord did not denounce a curse on him and his new covenant, can deliver us. And thus He, seed, having before given intimations of rich"the second Adam, the Lord from heaven," as

« PreviousContinue »