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that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes

shall be opened, and ye

knowing good and evil.”

shall be as gods, Daring and blas

phemous impiety! Here is falsehood which could only have been conceived by the father of lies; and presumption on which none would have ventured but a rebellious angel. Yet let us not fail to observe how this first temptation contains the seeds and the pattern of all succeeding ones. Thus still he excites us to be discontented with any restriction that is placed upon our desires; he induces us to question the fulfilment of those threatenings which God has denounced against sin; and he promises us some gratification, advantage, or pleasure, from our disobedience. In this manner he made a prey of the unhappy Eve. Beguiled by his sophistry, and led away by her own desires, she disregarded the threatenings of the Lord, and broke the commandment. "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband,

with her; and he did eat." What arguments were used, or what motives prevailed, to make Adam become a partaker in the transgression, we are not informed. Nor is there ever any necessity to enquire for what reasons or by what inducements the positive injunctions of God's Word are disregarded. If we will not reverence his commandments, simply for this sufficient reason that they are his commandments, our excuses for transgression will avail but little, and the force of temptation will not justify the offence. Now in this transgression there was the highest offence. It was a direct breach of the positive command of God; and greatly aggravated by this circumstance, which I have mentioned, namely, that they had but one single commandment. to keep. At this day, sin having thus entered into the world, many restrictions and prohibitions are necessary to prevent men from doing all that is in their hearts; but to the first pair only one was given; one single proof of their faith and obedience was alone required. It was not merely in the act of eating the fruit of a tree that the offence

consisted the act became a sin, and a sin that was exceedingly sinful, because they ate in opposition to God's will.

The effects of their transgression were immediately visible. Shame succeeded guilt, and fear trod upon the steps of shame. They ran to hide themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden. The effects of their transgression also appeared in their disingenuous evasions, when taxed with their disobedience. Neither would honestly confess their guilt. Both of them attempted to remove the blame from themselves to another, the man accusing the woman, and the woman the serpent, as the cause of the crime that had been committed. Neither were disposed to say, "I have sinned; behold I am vile; what shall I say to thee ?" All these things are evident proof that their nature had already suffered a dreadful change, and that entirely different emotions towards God were experienced in their hearts.

III. We come, in the third place, to the consideration of their punishment. The

serpent is first sentenced in these terms: "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 shall 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." Very minutely, in all its particulars, has the punishment of this curse been inflicted upon the serpent tribe; but this we stop not to consider. Satan, in the appearance of the serpent, was the main object of the malediction: and cursed, from that day unto this, has he been above every creature he remains in a state of abject degradation disappointment attends upon all his machinations, and, as it were, grates in his teeth, and mixes dust and ashes with his food. But oh! what mercy beams in the conclusion of his sentence, mercy not to him, but to fallen sinful man. In the promise of the seed of the woman which should bruise the serpent's head, we have the first intimation of that divine Saviour, with whose cha

racter, and office, and sufferings, and glory, the Scriptures are afterwards so full. He, the blessed Jesus, who was born of a virgin, and thus was peculiarly the seed of the woman, was manifested to the world, that he" might destroy the works of the devil." He and his people, true believers, who are one with him through faith, are ever opposed to Satan and the ungodly, who are of their father, the devil, for his works they do. And Satan hath been permitted to obtain some partial advantages over them. He effected the crucifixion of the Redeemer. He has often caused the blood of his saints to flow. But he has never struck a vital part. He has only bruised their heel. Jesus, on the contrary, has bruised his head. He vanquished him in that temptation wherewith he was assailed in the wilderness: and, on his cross, as on a triumphal chariot, having spoiled the principalities and powers of hell, “he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them." Through his grace and help has every saint, that is gone to heaven, set his foot upon the neck of this vanquished foe; and he will

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