Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” This, as far as it related to the beasts and creeping things, he bore when in his distress; he fell down upon his face to the earth, to the dust, and there lay upon his belly twisting and twining like a smitten serpent, or like a worm and no man, washing the dust of the ground with blood. Sin had made its inroad in a garden, and in the garden of Gethsemane be tore it up by the roots, with strong cries and tears. The curse of the woman was,

" I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thine husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

This our Saviour took upon himself, when in the weakness of the flesh of a woman (of which he spake in his anguish to his disciples, saying, “ the flesh is weak”) laid his hands upon his loins, and travailed, and brought his church to the birth in the agonies of hell; for then were his sorrows greatly multiplied, and he was more affrighted and weaker than any woman, because his hour was come. And he that should have been head and ruler, was servant and slave of all. :

The curse of the man was, " In sorrow shalt thou eat of the fruit of the ground, and of the herb of the field, all the days of thy life; in the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread, till thou return again to the ground, for out of it thou wast taken. Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return.”

This curse he endured also in the strictest sense, for he eat of the fruit of the ground and of the herb of the field with sorrow all the days of his life. " He (above all mankind) was a man of sorrows and

acquainted

acquainted with grief.” In the sweat of his brow did he eat bread, for he laboured at his trade, was continually travelling on foot and toiling by sea, till. a bloody sweat streamed over his brows, and stained and dyed his garments red; and this continued upon him till he was laid in the ground, or buried, according to the word of God.

The latter part of the sentence, namely, “ Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return," I hardly dare term a part of the curse, since it would have been more cursed and heavy if this had not been added. We should not have waited for the last day in the same fallen and spoiled bodies, nor could the earth have supported us. After we had arrived at some hundred years of age, our lives: would have been a burden to us, and to all round about us; and this might probably have been the reason why, after the fall, Adam was bindered to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, lest he should be thereby made immortal, or could have lived for ever in that helpless and most lamentable estate : Therefore it seems a part of the Divine Goodness, to suffer all to return back again to the dust from whence we were taken, that in the day when he should create all things new, he might raise us up in his own likeness, to die no more. With this consideration, the thoughts of sleeping and resting our wearied-out bodies in the grave is sweet, and we can ask chearfully, “ O grave, where is thy victory?"

But I will return to speak of the curse, wherewith the ground was cursed, which brought forth, and was the mother of all creatures, animal and vegetable.

And the Lord said to. Adam,“ Cursed is the ground for thy sake, thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” From the moment this

was

was said, the whole creation groaned and travailed together in pain, with all the creatures; the cry of all continually came up before God.

This curse was visibly taken away and transferred upon the head of the second Adam, when the soldiers platted the thorns, &c. and put them upon his head, and a reed in his hand, because that also seemed a part of the curse, that fruitful ground became barren and brought forth reeds and rushes. Then might it have been said with all propriety, when he came forth wearing the crown of thorns, « Behold the Man! behold the second man Adam, who taketh away the curse of the world.” It is remarkable that the devil entered into the serpent to betray the first man into sin, and so also the devil entered into Judas to betray the second man Christ Jesus into the punishment. The first man's eyes were seduced to look upon the tree, and this became a snare to him, and stirred up the desire to taste. The second man's eyes also were led to see the wrath due

upon

that account, and it made him tremble and weep bitterly at the approach of that cup, which he was not only to taste but drink up with all the dregs thereof. As soon as Adam had sinned, his eyes were opened to know good and evil. As soon as Jesus had taken the sin upon him, his eyes were shut and blindfolded.

The first man sold himself for naught, for a little fruit, as it were, and the second was sold only for thirty pieces of silver; this was the price at which they of the children of Israel valued the Lord. The first upon his sin lost his sonship, and was a slave and vassal of Satan. The second, though he was a son and heir of all, was lower than a servant, and obedient even to the wicked, in all be suffered, and Satan seemed to lead him in triumph in bonds and chains.

Adam

Adam was stripped of all his righteousness and innocence, that he was glad of a few leaves sewed together to cover his naked body: Jesus also was stripped naked, and made a spectacle to angels and men, and endured the shame, having no covering but blood, spittle, and dust.

The first man lost the beauty and image of God, the last bad his face marred more than any man's, and his form more than the sons of men.

The first was doomed to sorrow, and his wife also subjected to increase sorrow all her days. Come only to the manger, and see his poor and sorrowful birth: To the wilderness, and see his sorrows there in the forty days temptation: To Nazareth and Jeru, salem, and behold bis sorrowful life: To his last supper, to the garden, to the courts of Annas and Caiaphas, to the hall of Herod and Pontius Pilate; but especially come to the mountain called Golgotha, and « behold and see if there was any sorrow like unto his sorrow, wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger.” It had been said in the law, “ Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," or, he is cursed that is hanged; but no reason, that I remember, is assigned by the Holy Ghost, why dying upon a tree should be more accursed than dying on the ground; though we may innocently assert this as a solid reason, because sin began its reign there, and took occasion from thence, to hurt and overflow the whole world,

Our Lord therefore, who came “ to destroy the works of the devil," and who had step by step un, done all Adam had done amiss, and repaired as he went all the breaches, got all the sin of the world upon himself, as it is written, “ Not our sins only, but the sins of the whole world, On bim was laid the iniquities of us all.” He likewise

got

got all the curse and its direful effects, all the chastisement due in the strict justice of God, and then brought all upon a tree again, and was a curse for us. In this manner, wounded and chastened, body and soul, hung the second Adam, till he had paid the last mite, and destroyed and nailed with him to the tree all that displeased his eternal Father and Godhead, excepting death, and then with his bruised heels, in his last struggle, “ he trod upon the lion and the adder, the serpent and the dragon he trampled under his feet,” and with all his might he bowed himself forward, and threw down and buried in the abyss of his love and mercy, all sin, and devoured and slew death, spoiling and binding him that had the power of it, that is, the devil.

Thus was the world saved by the “ seed of the woman," and as by one man came sin, by

man came salvation, and God could say a second time, well pleased, “ and behold all was very good."

This is the sacred theory and doctrine of the fall and restoration, as it is revealed in the scriptures of truth. But to be happy possessors of the latter is the end of all, and for this end have we been redeemed, that " as by one man's disobedience we were made sinners, so by one man's obedience we may be made righteous."

Also, that as by one man's offence judgment was passed to condemnation, so by the grace and gist of one man, which abounds over many offences, is justification come upon the condemned unto salvation.

And, though by one man's sin death has reigned 'over all, even over such as had not broken a command, nor sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, yet much more shall the righteous

2 m

one

ness

VOL. I.

« EelmineJätka »