« EelmineJätka »
and force of the tremendous sentence to light; between HIS seed and that of the woman was the enmity to subsist; and HIS head was to be finally crushed by victorious Messiah. However Christians may have differed in their interpretation of particular words and phrases, this is the substance of what always has been, and always must be maintained among them upon the subject. If all be confined to the natural serpent, or beast of the field, the account must then be, as Dr. Middleton contends, apologue or fable, with a moral couched under it. But the writers of the New Testament ever refer to it as true history, and invariably declare SATAN to have been the SERPENT, who " through his subtlety "deceived Eve." The account of man's redemption is no apologue, but true history, built upon and presupposing the truth and reality of his temptation and fall, effected by the wiles of his enemy; who, for that reason, was to be crushed, together with his works, by the power of the Redeemer. As to the change wrought in the natural serpent after the fall (a subject on which the infidels divert themselves more than they will divert any body else) no man can deny that a change might take place; and no man can precisely ascertain the nature of such change, unless he knew the form in which that species of creatures was originally made. Nor does the sentence (so far as it may relate to the natural serpent) imply, that he should choose dust for his food, or that it should be his only food. They who grovel in dust, must sometimes come in for a mouthful. The expression intimates to us the very lowest degree of prostration,
humiliation, and the most abject wretchedness, similar to that other of the prophet, "His enemies shall "lick the dust." Let gentlemen take care, that they are not of the number. The history of man's fall is no fable, and will hereafter be found no jest.
Page 6.-" A tree of life, which God was obliged "to guard by Cherubim and a flaming sword, lest "man should eat of the fruit, and become immortal?"
The passage here alluded to has long been a subject of ridicule among unbelievers. It may, perhaps, cease to be so, when the following particulars are duly weighed and considered:
1st. There is no reason in the world for supposing the Cherubim here mentioned to have been different from those described at large, as exhibited in vision to Ezekiel, figures of which were placed in the tabernacle and temple. Moses says, "God placed "Cherubim." The people for whom he wrote were perfectly well acquainted with the nature, form, and design of them. The prophet, upon beholding them in vision, declares, “I knew that they were the Cherubim."
2dly. The words rendered in our translation, "A flaming sword turning every way," may, and, it is apprehended, ought to be rendered, “A devouring "fire turning or rolling upon itself;" as the Cherubim, which Ezekiel saw, are said to have stood in the midst of a fire "catching, or infolding itself." The expressions are equivalent, and correspond exactly.
3dly. This body of fire, generally attended by and subsisting in a cloud, is styled "the glory of the
"Lord;" and always accompanied the appearance of the Cherubim.
4thly. The most ancient expositions left in the world, which are the two Jewish Targums, paraphrase the verse thus: "And he thrust out the man, "and caused the glory of his presence to dwell of old, at the east of the garden of Eden, above the "two Cherubim."
5thly. If such be the real import of the passage, and it relate only to the manifestation of the divine presence, by its well known symbol, above or between the Cherubim, may we not fairly and reasonably conclude, that the design of such manifestation, at the east of the garden of Eden, was the same as it was confessedly afterwards in the tabernacle and temple; namely, to reveal the will of God for the conduct of his people; to accept the sacrifices offered to him; and favourably to regard the prefigurative atonement made by " the sprinkling of blood, with"out which there was (after the fall) no remission ?" And all this was done "to KEEP," or PRESERVE, "the way to the tree of life," immortality being now the object of a new covenant, with other conditions. There were good reasons why our first parent should not be suffered, in the state to which he had reduced himself, to "put forth his hand, and "take, and eat." The dispensation of Eden was at an end. Old sacraments were abolished, and new ones were to be instituted. In the spirit of repentance and faith the delinquents were to wait, " till "one happier Man should regain the blissful seat, and " open the kingdom of heaven to all believers ;"
himself the true TREE OF LIFE IN THE PARADISE
To the learned and candid of all denominations these remarks are submitted. If there be any thing in them, the text in question, which has been so long the butt of infidels and the stumbling-block of believers, not only becomes cleared of its difficulties, but throws a light and a glory on the whole patriarchal dispensation.
PAGE 7. "The account of the flood is very embar"rassing."
Possibly it may-There was a great deal done in a little time; and neither these gentlemen nor myself were present to see how it was done.
Ibid. "From whence came the water?"
From the place to which it returned, and in which it has remained (God be praised!) ever since. The globe of the earth, as the Scriptures inform us, is a shell, or hollow sphere, enclosing within it a body of waters, styled "the great deep," or abyss. The earth, at the creation, was covered on all sides with water, which, at the command of God, retired to this abyss beneath, from whence, at the same command, it came forth in the days of Noah; and, having performed its task, was again dismissed, as before. "The fountains of the great deep," by the divine power, were "broken up;" gravity for a time was suspended, or overcome; the waters were violently thrown upwards into the atmosphere, and descended in torrents and cataracts of rain. If we measure the circumference of the earth, and gauge its contents, we shall find water enough, I dare say, to answer every purpose mentioned in the book of