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even in the mind of Cain, that he thought he should have to die by the hand of some avenger. If man's very nature was so changed by Adam's sin as common opinion supposes, why have we no account of Adam's wicked life and of Eve's abominations? Why is there no mention made of the wickedness of Abel? Did not Abel partake of this fall? Or was it in Adam's power to communicate, or not communicate this sinful nature by procreation? The fact is we have no authority for this doctrine which is called the fall.

The most extravagant part of the common doctrine of the first transgressor and its consequences, relates to the means by which Eve was beguiled.So immaculate and holy were our first parents, that had it not been for the beguiling acts of a superior being, says common doctrine, Eve could never have been tempted with success. This presumed, the next thing is to fabricate a story about a fallen Angel who was once for glory and beauty the morning star of heaven; but who by rebellion fell from the state in which he was created, and was consigned to the burning lake for the punishment of his sin. This prince of devils, it is believed, assumed the body of a serpent and persuaded her to believe that she could better her condition by disobeying her Maker. Milton has told this story in such a fanciful manner, that the sentiment has been incorporated into the christian faith so that a denial of it is the same as a denial of the whole christian doctrine, in the opinion which we are examining.

Now if this notion of a fallen Angel &c. be a fact, why are the scriptures silent on the subject? Where we read in Genesis of the serpent tempting Eve, there is nothing said concerning a fallen Angel called the devil. But let us ask how this Angel

came to sin. It is contended that Eve was so perfect that she never would have sinned unless she had been beguiled by a superior mind. Now if this were the case how shall we account for the sin of the Angel who fell and became a devil? Was he less holy before he sinned, than our first parents? If he could sin without a tempter, why could not man sin without a tempter? It must be allowed that this Angel sinned on account of imperfection in his nature, without a tempter, or it must be granted that he had one to tempt him. But whether he was tempted by some other being, or by reason of his constitutional infirmity, both alike prove his imperfection; for if he had been perfect, temptations could not have risen from within him, nor from without could they have had any power upon him. This is equally applicable to man. He must have been imperfect, and subject to vanity or he could not have been led into sin by temptations from within or from without.

The hearer will easily perceive that there is no other way to account for the first transgression than by admitting a constitutional imperfection, in the agent; he will furthermore see that a sinful being can have no power to lead one who is perfect in holiness into transgression; all beings, therefore, who are sinful must have been made subject to vanity, which is the state in which man stood when formed of the dust of the ground, and according to the Apostle's testimony in our text.

As it seems impossible to avoid this conclusion concerning the imperfect state of man in the beginning, we shall consent, at once, to the idea in our text, that the creature was made subject to vanity, not because of his own will, but by reason of the will of his Maker, who saw fit, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, to subject the creature to all

the vanity of this mortal state in hope of a better and more perfect state hereafter.

Let us, in the next place, proceed to examine the account which inspiration has given of the first temptation and sin; and let us do this with honest and candid minds, with a determination to be satisfied with the scripture account.

"Now the serpent was more subtle 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 ?" To this question the woman returned the true answer, to which the serpent replied; "Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Here is the whole account of the first temptation. And here let the question be honestly and candidly examined, (viz.) What is there in this account about an Angel's falling from heaven to hell, and coming from hell to the earth, and of his tempting Eve? Surely there is not a word that so much as intimates any thing on the subject. But it is contended, that the serpent could not have tempted Eve, if some evil agent had not been in him and moved him to perform so crafty a work. Why then does the account say that the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field? If the temptation was the craftiness of some other creature, and not the subtlety of the serpent, it was deficient from the scripture representation, which suggests no other subtlety in the case than that of the serpent. Moreover, if it had been some invisible agent, who, entering into the serpent, wrought the temptation in question, it was that invisible agent, and not the serpent that was the tempter, and ought to have been the subject of the malediction which was pronounced on the serpent. "And the Lord God

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said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. 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." All this was said to the serpent, but there was nothing said to that abominable wicked Angel that sinned in heaven, and who was banished to hell for his sin, and from hell came to this earth and tempted Eve!


By this time the hearer will ask if the speaker really supposes that a literal serpent did actually talk to the woman and influence her to eat of a forbidden fruit? No, he does not. He humbly conceives that this account is given in a scriptural allegory, which may all be explained by a little attention to the scriptures. In scripture, the serpent is a hieroglyphic of wisdom.-Jesus commanded his disciples to be wise as serpents. As there are two sorts of wisdom mentioned in scripture, so they are represented by two kinds of serpents. Apostle James speaks of wisdom as follows; " Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew, out of a good conversation, his works with meekness and wisdom. But if ye have bitter envy and strife in your hearts, glory not, and be not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."

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The wisdom of God is represented by the rod of Moses which became a serpent; and the wisdom of this world which cometh to naught, is represented

by the rods of the wise men and sorcerers of Egypt, which likewise became serpents. The superiority of the wisdom of God over the wisdom of the flesh is represented by Aaron's rod's swallowing up the magicians' rods. Another representation of these two wisdoms we have in the account given of the fiery serpents that bit and destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness, and that brazen serpent which Moses made by the special command of God, whose virtues were a sovereign cure for the deadly stings of the fiery serpents. These fiery serpents represent the wisdom of this world, and the evil effects of their bite are a very just representation of the evil effects of false religion. And our blessed Saviour has made use of the brazen serpent to represent himself. He says; "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." When the Israelites were bitten by the fiery serpents, and the deadly poison was diffused throughout their distressed bodies, only a look at the brazen serpent on the pole effected a radical cure of the deadly wound. So by looking unto Jesus, who is the wisdom of God, we are recovered from the dreadful contagion of our earthly, sensual wisdom. Thus the promised seed bruises the serpent's head.

Let us look in the next place, and ascertain if possible, the source of this sensual wisdom which is enmity against the wisdom of God, and which tempts us to sin. St. James says; "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."-To the Galatians St. Paul says; "I say then, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh;

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