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Eve, though a believer, and assured of the verity of the promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent, yet, in the absence of all subsequent prediction, erred greatly; and, looking to the ordinary course of nature, and remembering that she was to be the mother of all proceeding, or future life, exclaimed on the birth of Cain, “ I have gotten the man from the Lord.” For she did not perceive that the Redeemer spake not of seeds, as of many, but, on the contrary, that the words "seed of the woman," had respect to the woman alone, and entirely excluded, in every possible way and sense, mortal paternity, and which seed, as I have already pointed out, related to the Divine Word, or only begotten Son of God, through the operation of the Holy Ghost.
We are next told, that the birth of Abel followed that of Cain, and that Abel (a type of Christ) was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground; it is then added, “ And in
process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
“ And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings
of the flock, and of the fat thereof, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.
“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
This is the first recorded institution of public worship by Almighty God, of which mention is made in the sacred writings, and at which the assembled inhabitants of the earth were present; the brothers, Cain and Abel, brought such offerings as each respectively possessed for a man is accepted according to that which he hath, and not according to that which he hath not. Now Adam begat these children in his own acquired and vitiated spiritual likeness, and after his own corrupted and natural image; and they, according to the general order of man at large, were born the children of wrath, and, as such, stood in need of a Mediator, or an atonement for sin, in like manner as man in our own day. Christ was present in his character of the Head of his church, and shows us, that to his office of Creator and Governor of all things which were made by him, the office of Judge of the quick and of the dead is appended --for Christ acted judicially by the rejection of Cain and his offering, and equally so in his açceptation of righteous Abel and his offering, and which was accepted on account of Abel's faith. That in the offerings brought to this altar of the Deity, (whether a mound of earth or a pile of unhewn stones, is not at all material, there was intrinsically neither power nor virtue of any kind for the remission of sins, the worshippers must well have known; and the reception, or respect, entertained for Abel and his offering, was the consequence of faith in the blood-shedding of the antitype, the seed of the woman, that should bruise the head of the serpent. The law, given after the exode of Israel from Egypt, proves to us, that God out of Christ is a consuming fire, and that salvation is alone offered to man, by, and through the sacrifice of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. But further, the judicial proceedings of the Redeemer in the instances of Cain and Abel, are figurative and confirmatory of Christ's conduct in the day of judgment, when we are told, “ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Then shall ye say
also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
I will here copy from the Dissertations of the pious and learned Francis Lee, M.D., (which work contains a critical commentary on the most difficult places of the book of Genesis,) a few portions of the contents of the pages 192 and 194, which appear most intimately to stand in direct relation with the promise, of which the words,“ seed of the woman,” form both a principal and prominent part.
It was an ancient opinion, that to all human generation there was required a twofold seedmasculine and feminine: which hypothesis being exploded as unphilosophical, there was another substituted, far better answering most of the phenomena of nature, which is that of the multiplication of mankind ex ovo, as indeed of all other animals whatsoever. Let it suffice to observe, that, according to this new theory of generation, all that are born of a woman are universally the seed of the man-one only exception admitted: also that the promised person who could properly be called the seed of the woman, must be born of an immaculate virgin ; not according to the will (and lust) of man, but according to the will (and love) of God: and also, that this Holy Thing, so conceived, born without the knowledge and will of man, and without taint of the polluted vermicular life, must moreover, rightly be called the Son of God: and that even according to the humanity, like as Adam was so denominated. Now, if according to this theory, the seed of the serpent, and its verminating principle, be understood in the ground of nature, it will be most easy to apprehend what the subduing of that must mean, and what the treading upon its power is; and who only can bruise the head thereof, according to the Divine process of the renovation of nature, which will then appear beautiful and uniform.'
Having said that the redemption of man by the sacrifice of Christ, was infolded in the promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent; and having further pointed out, from the first recorded institution of public worship by Christ, the Head of his church—that the blood of the victim was clearly understood to possess no innate power for the remission of sin, because there was an entire