Page images



1 Cor. xv. 47.

The first man is of lhe earth, earthy; the second man is

the Lord from heaven.


N this chapter the doctrines of the fall by the first,

and the restoration by the second Adam, is treated of in a particular manner, and with divine authority and clearness.

The design of the apostle seems to have been the proving á general resurrection, against such who among the Sadducees, and other captious people, denied it. He sets forth Adam as having by his disobedience introduced death into the world, and Christ as bridging in life, and destroying death. By one came death, he says, and by one came the resurrection of the dead;” and boldly asserts, that Christ has so undertook the cause, that death, sin, the curse, and whatever came in by original sin, shall be done away and destroyed in him, who will reign till he has subdued all things to himself, and swallowed up death in victory, and brought out of their graves again those who have been turned into corruption, and make all alive, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt.

My My purpose is not now to speak of the resurrection altogether, though that is one of the principles of Christianity, and very comfortable; but of the fall by Adam, and of its sad effects in the world, and of the redemption and restoration by Christ Jesus, and the blessed consequences of his dying, in all who believe.

After God had finished the world, and made it very good, on the sixth day he created, out of the dust of the ground, man in his own image; for, as himself was Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so was his creature his copy and transcript, viz. body, soul, and spirit; for “ God breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” He was made a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory and worship, for to him was the world put in subjection, all beasts and birds, and whatsoever walketh in the paths of the seas; all came to him to receive names, and what name he, called them that was their name. The earth brought forth abundantly, every tree whose fruit was good for food, and every green herb for his use. All was a blessed garden, and a sort of lower Paradise.

In this happy and angelical situation was Adam when his Creator saw it best for him not to be alone, and therefore caused him to fall into a deep sleep: during which he opened his side, and took a rib or part of him away, and of tbis he made a woman, whom Adam knew as soon as he awoke, for he said, “ Now this is bone of my bone, and Aesh of my flesh;" and though it seems God had called their names Adam, for. they were one, yet he called her Chevah, or Eve, because he looked upon her as the mother of all living.

They had not lived long in their innocent and high estate before sin spoiled and ruined all, which

2 L 3


happened thus : Satan, who before had been an angel, and very likely one of the greatest among the principalities in heaven, the first-born son of the morning, for his pride, of which he was the author, in attempting to be like the Most High, was cast down, and his angels with him, into the lower regions; and as it was otherwise out of his power and above his reach to revenge himself on the Lord, he plotted the hurt and ruin of the new world, in which he observed the Creator took such pleasure: this he knew he could never effect but by bringing sin into it, and with this he succeeded. Now, amidst all the liberty granted to Adam, and notwithstanding all his dignity, sovereignty, and dominion, upon the throne God was greater than he; and that he might know it, and live as became a child of God, one only tree was forbidden to be tasted, upon forfeiture of his sonship and divine life. “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Satan took the advantage of this prohibition, and spoke with Eve in the form of a serpent, which was the wisest, if not the most lovelý, of all the creatures, about this tree, which is called by the Holy Ghost, “ The Tree of Knowledge," because, upon the eating of it, their eyes were opened to their sad misfortune, to know evil. At their first conference they continued childlike, obedient, and simple, but were at last persuaded, at least, to look on it, and see how lovely it appeared, for “ it was pleasant to the eye, and good for food;" and as often as they refused to touch it, Satan reasoned with them, and told them, “if they did eat, they would not die;" but God knew that at their eating they would be, like himself, wise, and knowing good and evil, and be like gods, wherefore he had forbidden it. Here, questioning the word of God through Satan's lying,


and saying, “ Ye shall not surely die,” unbelief stole in, and a desire to taste the fruit of which God had said, “ Ye shall not eat," and then, first the

woman, and after that the man eat, and at once lost their glory and dignity, and by obeying him, became servants of the devil, and sunk into his condemnation. Fear and shame were the immediate effects of their sin, the Holy Spirit also departed, and a curse came upon all the world, and upon every creature, which before God bad made in subjection to Adam.

Evil was now in the earth, which just before was very good; venom and poison rushed into some, fury and fierceness into others, and misehief, and somewhat very bad, into all the creatures that had life: The trees and herbs degenerated, and the ground brought forth thorns and noisome weeds. Adam was no more obeyed, his sovereignty ceased, and death, pain, and sickness, and the innumerable plagues and calamities crowded in with it, and hell followed: Satan usurped the throne of man, and was God of this world from thenceforth, leading all captive at bis will, calling every child of Adam his home-born slave, and triumphing in the destruction of the six days labour of Jehovah.

Thus fell the first man Adam, who was of the earth, and thus fell all mankind with him, and were a prey to the dragon, the serpent, that deceived and enslaved the whole world.

Doubtless God Almighty foresaw all this that happened before ever he laid the foundation of the earth, or said, “ Let there be light;" but then he would not alter his design, but went on with his creation, resolved to take the opportunity of the fall to make known to heaven and earth and hell his everlasting love; an infinite value for the children


of men, and decreed from everlasting to be their Saviour. He watched the whole subtle work of the

enemy, and saw the entering-in and course of sin, and to comfort poor wretched Adam and Eve, who had destroyed themselves, and" sold themselves for nought,” he said, “ the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head.” This doctrine more and more clearly taught and revealed by the Holy Ghost to the fathers, was their consolation also, and the hope of Israel, till the Redeemer, the Desire of all nations, came.

" When the fulness of the time was come, God sent bis Son made of a woman, and this was the second man Adam, the Lord from heaven." Eve was the first in the transgression, and therefore : was he only inade of the weaker flesh of a woman, but in the form and fashion of a man, differing from us only in this, that he was without sin in his conception, birth, and life.

When he appeared in the world, it was in the person of Adam, as one who undertook to set the whole ruined state of mankind to rights, and take upon himself the blame, curse, and punishment of all, and redeem and save his people with justice and equity, and carry away whatever evil came in by the first man.

All the casualties, sicknesses, infirmities, pains, griefs, weaknesses, and whatever else were the consequences of the curse, weighed him down from his infancy, and made him a man of sorrows. His obedience to the law was the payment of our debt; and wherein we failed, and should have fallen short, and never attained to righteousness; but the curse he took away, by bearing it truly, and indeed, as it came upon us. The curse of the serpent was, " Thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every


[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »