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moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of Heaven.” Áfter this God created great whales, * and all other living. creatures which the waters produced, and gave them this blessing, "Be fruitful, and fill the waters with fish, and the earth with fowl." Moreover he added to the fertility of the earth, which before brought forth only vegetables, the production of animals, saying, "Let the earth bring "forth the living creature after its kind; cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kinds; ▲ and it was so."
All these parts of the creation being thus finished in their admirable order, the Almighty, to crown this great work, changes his style, which before was, Let this, or that be so, and saith, "Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness:" He is not, like the other creatures, produced at an instant, but a sacred council is as it were held between the persons of the Holy Trinity, the result of which is a noble creature, who shall unite in his person both worlds; and though the matter out of which man was formed was but the dust of the ground, yet God
* Whales. The Hebrew word Tanim, signifies large creatures, as well on earth, as in the water, and is commonly applied to large fishes,
◊ Image. Man was created with light in his understanding, and holiness in his will, which with all his affections and appetites, was subject to his enlighteued understanding, and in this consisted the image of God; and to which fallen man must again be restored by the agency of the Holy Spirit. See Col. iii. 10. Eph. iv. 24.
The expression "Let us make man," certainly implies a plurality of persons in Jehovah; for there can be no imaginable reason why God should speak of himself in the plural number, unless he consists of more persons than one; which is further evident from Gen. iii. 22. It would be absurd to suppose, as some do, that God should borrow this way of speaking from that of human princes, before a man was created on the earth. It should also be noted that the word Elohim, translated God, is plural, and is frequently joined with plural verbs and plural adjectives; yet here, and in many other places, it is joined with a verb in the singular, and strongly implies a plurality of persons in one and the same Jehovah.
See this argument at large in The Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity," by the late learned W. Jones, M. A. F. R. S, Rector of Paston, and Minister of Nay
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man be. came a living soul. Man being thus excellently formed, was invested with the two great blessings of fruitfulness and dominion: "be fruitful," saith he "and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion. over it." He was constituted lord over all other creatures, and the product of the whole earth was granted to him for sustenance and delight.
Such was the creation of the world, of which when God had taken a general survey, he pronounced it "very good.' On the seventh day he "rested from all his work which. he had created and made," and therefore appointed it to be observed by man as an holy rest, wherein he might contemplate the wonders of the creation, and adore his glorious Maker.
God was then pleased further to display his goodness by placing Adam, for so the first man was named, in the beautiful garden of Eden, * or Paradise, which he was to dress and to keep, indulging him with a general permission to eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden, even of the Tree of Life, but expressly forbidding him to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. By obedience to this law he was to evince his fidelity to his Maker, and his dependence on him as his supreme Lord and Benefactor; at the same time, to deter him from disobedience, the awful threatening was pronounced, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”†
Eden. It would be endless to recount the various opinions of Geographers concerning its situation. Moses says that " a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads." Some suppose this river to be the common channel of the Euphrates and Tigris after their confluence, which parted again below the garden into two different channels: so that the two channels before, and the other two after their confluence, constitute the heads mentioned by Moses. If this conjecture be true, it will determine the situation to have been in the South of Mesopotamia: but others place it on Mount Caucasus.
+ Whether the Tree of Life was a single tree or an entire species of trees, and whether it had any natural virtue to preserve life, are questions much disputed, but of little consequence. The Tree of Life, however, was a sacrament of that covenant of works, under which Adam was placed; it was a pledge of the favour of God; and by the use of it he maintained commu
God having given Adam a permission what to eat, and a prohibition what to forbear, puts him in possession of the sovereignty he had before given him; causing all the beasts of the field and fowls of the air to pass before him, that he might give them their names; and whatsoever Adam called any creature, that was its name. And now Adam being the only creature without a companion, God caused a deep sleep to fall on him, and while he slept, took out one of his ribs,* closing up the flesh again, and made it into a woman, and brought her to him. Adam being sensible of what his Maker had done, as soon as he saw the woman, exclaims, in a kind of rapture, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh :" And, as he had given names to all other creatures, he likewise calls her WOMAN, subjoining as a reason, "because she was taken out of man." These two then, being united in so dear a relation, were to be inseparable; so that, in all succeeding ages of the world, a man should leave both father and mother, and adhere to his wife, rendered by marriage indissolubly one. This was the conjugal insti
nion with his Maker, and acknowledged him as the Author of that better life, which though innocent, he was to seek after, not in himself, but in God, as a liberal rewarder. Witsius thinks that the Tree of Life signified the Son of God, not indeed under the character of a Mediator, (that consideration being peculiar to another covenant) but as he is the Author of Life to man in every condition, and the fountain of all his happiness. Hence Christ is called the Tree of Life. Rev. xxii. 2.
There was another tree, deriving its name from the Knowledge of Good and Evil, this was the Tree of Mortality, as the former was the Tree of Immortality. This was designed for the probation of man. If from a principle of love to God he regarded the probationary precept, he was to acquire the full knowledge of all the good intended for him; but if disobedient, he was to be doomed to the greatest calamity, the extreme evil of which he should know from experience.
Ribs. Many frivolous quæries have been proposed concerning this circumstance in the creation of woman; but it ought to satisfy us that this mode of her formation was most agreeable to the divine wisdom; and it may suggest some practical hints of no small importance in domestic life. "The woman was ta, ken, not from the head of man, to usurp authority over him; nor from his feet, to be trampled on by him; but from his side, to be regarded as next himself; under his arm to be protected; and near his heart, to be beloved by him."
'tution, with the law thereof, in the naked innocency, and unblushing simplicity of the first man and woman, while they abode in the garden of Eden. This was the happy condition of our first parents. Though they were naked they were not ashamed, for they had hitherto contracted no guilt; their conscience was an unspotted tablet, no depraved affections having invaded their chaste souls; for before sin entered, all things were honest and comely.
But the blissful state of this happy pair was but of short continuance; for the Serpent, the chief of the fallen angels, envying the happiness of man, who hitherto retained and enjoyed that state of innocence and bliss, which he by ambition had forfeited and lost, contrived to seduce him from his obedience, and draw him into transgression, that he might become a companion in his punishment. In order to which he first attacks the woman, as the weaker vessel, by whom he hoped more easily to prevail on the man. His diabolical project succeeded; for he no sooner accosted her, but he gained his point. With apparent indifference he betrays her into an eager pursuit of her ruin. "Indeed, (saith he,) hath "God commanded you not to eat of every tree of the garden?" "Nay, (replies the woman) it is but one "tree that is forbidden us; for we may eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden, except of the fruit of the tree "which is in the midst of the garden; for God hath said, "Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye "die." God's word was positive, "Thou shalt surely "die;" but the woman in repeating it, renders it only
*Serpent. A natural serpent is deemed a creature of peculiar cunning-proverbially wise, Matt. x. 16. But this serpent was the vehicle employed by the Devil, who is called, Rev. xii. 9. " the old serpent"-"the deceiver." The power of speech might be supernaturally allowed on this occasion, and might be pretended to have been acquired by the use of the forbidden tree. It is remarkable that the Serpent was always held sacred among the heathen, and worshipped by many of them: and thus Satan triumphed among them in that creature whereby he ruined man.
+ Die. The death threatened, included-a deprivation of that holy and happy life of soul as well as body, in the image and favour of God, which
doubtful, and in doubting God's threatening, she seemed to yield. The Serpent finding her staggering, pursues his advantage, and encourages her with an assurance that she should not die; "for (said he,) God knows, that in "the day ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil." This inflamed the desire and ambition of the woman, for the fruit was not only tempting to the eye, and grateful to the palate, but desirable for its instructive quality of making one wise. On which, forgetting the prohibition, and dreadful consequences attending it, her curiosity hurries her on to destruction:-She eats of the fruit; and her husband, prevailed upon by the fascinating persua sions of his beautiful consort, forgetful of his obligations to his God, and fondly determined to share with her in the consequences of her conduct, rashly partakes of the interdicted tree. No sooner had they eaten of the baleful fruit, than their eyes were opened; but alas! it was to perceive their own nakedness and misery. They had indeed acquired knowledge, but it was a knowledge, arising from sad experience, that the serpent had betrayed them both, and drawn them from the good which they knew before, into the evil which they knew not. This dear-bought knowledge brought upon them at once both guilt and shame.* Moses had before observed, that Adam and Eve were naked, and were not ashamed: before sin was committed they were innocent and free from passions, but now they began to feel the disorderly emotions of concupiscence; they were ashamed to see themselves naked, and being put to the poor shifts of art to conceal their new-discovered nakedness, they made themselves
he enjoyed before his fall. Thus "by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all (or in whom,) ali have sinned." Rom v. 12.
"They knew that they were naked," Gen. iii. 7, might be more expressively rendered " they were sensible that they were naked; and the nakedness of their bodies was but the external emblem of the nakedness of their souls, for they were now stripped of their original righteousness.