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he put the man whom he had formed. In this garden the beneficent Creator had catered with infinite munificence for the comfort of his sinless and glorified creature. For his immediate necessities, there was a superabundance of every requisite best adapted to his support; in that perfect state of purity and innocence in which he came from the hands of his Maker, excluded apprehension and anxiety for the future. Man's innocence constituted his immortality, his mind was a paradise of bliss, and his Creator was his friend. Shame, fear, and the entire train of those corroding anxieties to which suffering and repining humanity is subject, found no place of existence; and indeed, these evil passions, fearful proofs of the guilt and depravity of man, were incompatible with the divine will. The state of human life of the Adam, in their originally created condition of innocence, is to us incomprehensible.
A state of indolence was never designed for man, and therefore the Creator placed Adam in the garden of Eden, “ to dress it, and to keep it.” A necessary introduction to an uniform habit of industry, when of necessity he was to earn his bread in the sweat of his
brow. In Eden, the divine supremacy requiring obedience on the part of man, was made to consist in his abstinence from the fruit of one single and particular tree, the varied produce of all the others being freely given as an ample and abundant sufficiency for his subsistence. The prohibition to eat of the forbidden fruit, contained an admonition of its exceedingly baneful nature, and was a denunciation of death as the result of transgression on the part of man.
The Creator's interdict runs thus :
“ But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”
Here free will is left to human agency, and the continued possession of immortality, or certain death, was made optional with Adam, in the event of his obtaining a prohibited and therefore sinful acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, beyond that with which the Creator saw fit, in his infinite and unerring wisdom, originally to endue him. The result of the serpent's temptation is sufficiently known : he prevailed, man fell, and the posterity of Adam (who begat children in his acquired and sinful likeness) are born the children of wrath, and the deeply contaminated inheritors of their great progenitor's original sin. The promise consequent upon the fall of man must here be inserted, because it presents us plainly with the incarnate person of the God-man Christ, and which promise must be taken in continuous connexion with the declared purpose of the incarnation of the Son of God, of which fact it forms a subsequent, connecting, and confirming part of that primitive declaration of the eternal purpose of Jehovah, with regard to the sufferings and sacrifice of the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. The promise of a Redeemer to restore in his own person that original righteousness which was lost in the fall, is thus declared to the serpent :
“ And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The written word of God, which can alone be admitted as all-sufficient authority, and decisive of the meaning of these words,
“the seed of the woman,” must first be had recourse to, after the call of Abraham, the father of the faithful; the promise to whom concerning the advent and lineage of the seed of the woman, (and which seed Abraham worshipped by sacrifice) was this: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," and the apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, iii. 16, 17, speaks of that promise thus :
“ Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of
many; but as of one, And to thy seed which is Christ.”
“ And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
If we concisely and conjointly take the sense of what the apostle says concerning Christ as the seed of Abraham, having regard at the same time to the promise made to man universally in the persons of our first parents and representatives on their fall, “ And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall
bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel;" we have in that seed of the woman, and Son of the most high God, such an evident and incontrovertible certainty of the divine and human natures of God, manifest in the flesh, that we have only to insert what Moses thus says of the Creator, “ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him ; male and female created he them;" and we have full and well assured proof, that when Jehovah said, “Let us make man,” &c. the plural pronoun
» then made use of, is his own record of the eternal divinity of the Triune Godhead. Of which also the apostle says, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” And seeing that “God is a Spirit,” and that “the Lord our God is one Lord,” it evidently follows, that this Trinity of Divine Personages must be in virtue and by unity of their one and the same spiritual likeness, co-eternally, co-essentially, and co-equally divine, and therefore in their style and title, alike God, Lord, and Almighty, on account of their same eternal, self-existing, and uncreated essence. But again, that which