Page images
PDF
EPUB

times godly men, yoked to this his tempting work, as in the case of Peter, Matth. xvi. 22, 23.

3. The lusts of the heart are temptations to all, Jam. i. 14. This is the most dangerous enemy, as being within. These are Satan's trustees, which effectually lead us off the road,

fingularly skilful and expert in the matter. Thus the tempter promiseth, from the opening of their eyes by eating of the fruit, a vast penetration as to good and ill, q. d. Not only fall ye know the particular, which I see ye are now ignorant of, viz. the shameful indecency of your nakedness : but your knowledge will be universally improved, and that to a pitch.

Ver. 6. “ And the woman faw, that good was the tree for meat, and that lovely that (tree was] to the eyes : She faw it pleasant to the eyes, and her heart began to entertain a hankering after it. The demonstrative that is emphatie ; and is here used to point out that fatal tree, to the minds of her potterity. An affection it put for a thing very much to be affected, the abstract for the concrete. The manner of expression, the course of words being precipitated, represents lively the inferual fire now faming in the woman's breaft. And [that] the tree (was) desirable, for to afford wit ; that is, to make them knowing of good and evil, ver. 5. fingularly hilful and expert in those matters. Thus the tempter was believed, and his lies received for truth. “ And she took [fome) of its fruit, and ate [it.”] Observe here the degrees of the woman's yielding to the temptation. (1.) Her mind and understanding went off by uobelief: le faw and judged the tree to be good for meat, though it had no word of divine appointment for that end, but on the contrary was forbidden as deadly. [2.] Her affection towards it riseth, and the hankers after it. (3.) She is inHamed with the desire of it. (4.) She pulls it with her hand, and eats it with her mouth, “ And she gave also to her husband, with her, and he ate." Not, she gave to her husband with her, as if he had been present with her, in her encounter with the serpent ; no, Satan managed the matter more artfully : but, she gave to her husband, [to eat] with her, the plucked off so much of the fruit, as served her to eat, for the time while she was at the tree; and not only so, but she came eating unto her husband, and

gave him also of it, to eat with her : and he ate with her accordingly. The word also is bere emphatical; for in giving it to him, the deadly morsel was given to all mankind, the covenant being made with him, before the woman was in being, chap. ii. 16.

Ver. 7. Then were opened, the eyes of them both, viz. to see what they never saw, nor could have seen, before, namely, the shamefulness of their nakedness: and so were Satan's deceitful words, ver. 5. accomplished. And they knew, they knew, i. c. they knew, alas! they knew to sad ex. perience. That nakednesses, (i. e. ftark oaked) they [were.] The abItract for the concrete in the superlative degree. They faw their oaked. ness most shameful and indecent, and that they were greatly in need of a covering

Ver. 8. “ And they heard, even the voice of Jehovah God, walking in the garden, i. e. the voice walking : for so the words are by the pointing conitructed. This voice which they heard walking, was the Word, the eternal Son of God, now entering upon the execution of the Mediatory

and rob us of our purity. They are decitful lusts; and as the heart of man is furnished with them, it is deceitful above all things, Jer. xvii. 9.

Thirdly, The bait wherewith the hook of temptation is busked. This is always some seeming good, if it were but the

office, and coming to discover the eternal counfel concerning the falvation of fioners. At the wind of the day : i. e. in the cool of the day, when the fun declining, there was a breeze of wind, which would quickly let the guilty couple see the insufficiency of their fig-leaf coverings, for hiding their nakedness. The Hebrew text mentions shree parts of the artificial day, one of which is called the blowing of the day, Cant, ii. 17; another the warm of the day, Gen. xviii. 1; a third, here, the wind of the day. The first is the morning, as appears from the text wherein it is mentioned: the second from morning to noon, and as long after it as before: the third from thence to the end of the day, otherwise called the space between the two evenings, Exod. xii. 6; i. e. between three and fix of the clock in the afternoon. And the man hid himself, and his wife [hid herfelf], for so the pointing shews the words to be constructed. The guilty couple, at bearing the found of the Voice walking in the garden, ran asunder, he one way, le another, and hid themselves in different places, not together. From the face of Jehovah God: i. e. from the Schechinah, the vigible liga of the divine presence, the habitation of the divine majesty, from whence they were to have solemn communion with him. In midt of tree of the garden. In some groves or other, some places where the trees were thick about them. The divine presence, which before was the joy of their hearts, was now become a terror to them, being guilty.

• [Extracts from the notes on ver. 9.-14. must be omitted for want of room]

Ver. 15. And I will set enmity; between thee, and between this woinan, , viz. Eve, called the woman all along hitherto, and now standing as a crimi nal before the Judge, together with the ferpent. And this looks to the friendship between that woman and the serpent, in their joining together, to the dishonour of God, and the ruio of mankind. 9. d. And whereas you and this woman did conspire to violate my law, and to ruin this man, I will settle an enmity, a lasting enmity, between you, for all time coming. And this is a promise of efficacious grace, to convert and bring the woman to repentance, so that she should mortally hate, and seek the destruction of, the power and works of the devil, in herself and others. And between thy seed, and between her seed: understand, I will set enmity; therefore these words are in a clause by themselves, as being equally conttructed with the clause concerning the woman, and the clause concerning her' seed : which thews even the gracious woman's utter inability to convey that enmity into her seed, and an equal necessity of efficacious grace for that end, to shem, as well as to her. Herehy it was secured, that this enmity should not die with that woman, but that it should be propagated from generatton to generation; the Lord himself still fetting this enmity against the devil, into the heart of the woman's seed, to the end of the world. It is manifeit, that the serpent, the devil, can have no feed, but by imitation only: but the woman was capable of having a seed two ways, viz. (1.)

1

satisfying of a lust or a humour. In drawing or alluring temptations, the bait is some seeming good to be got. Thus was the present world to Demas, and the thirty pieces of silver to Judas. In driving temptations, the bait is some seeming good to be kept, by preventing of evil, as those spoke of,

By imitation. (2.) By generation of her body, Now, the woman's feed here mentioned is opposed to the serpent's seed: and the ferpent's seed is the devil's angels, and wicked men, called his feed in respect of their imitation of him. Therefore the woman's feed is believers in Chrift, called her feed, not in respect of natural generation, for the holy enmity, the enmity against the serpent and his feed, goes not so wide as that ; but in respect of imitation, as followers of her faith: for the holy enmity is of equal latitude with that imitation; all and every one who become her seed, by believing as she did, being thereupon blessed with true (evangelical) repentance, accordmg to the promise of the Lord's setting the enmity in the woman's feed. And in this respect Adam himself was one of her feed; in teftimony whereof, he called her the mother of all living. Thus the believing Gentiles are Abraham's feed, to wit, by imitation, being followers of his faith. All this is agreeable to the scripture phraseology, in which one who is first ia any thing, leading the way which others follow, is called the father of them, as chap. iv. 20, 21. That shall bruise away (to) thee the head; já e. bruise away thy head, as a thing that is bruised into fo very minute particles, that it Aies away, to be seen no more. That shall do it, viz the wo. man's feed : not, her feed by imitation, opposed to the serpent's seed; but her seed by generation of her body, opposed to the ferpeni bimself. And that is the man Christ Jesus only He is the feed of the woman in a proper fente, yea, in the ftri&teft propriety: and he only is so; all other mea being the seed of men. Believers only are the woman's feed, mentioned in the foregoing hemiftich, and not Chrift: for they alone are the feed in which the enmity is fet. Jefus Christ being the speaker, ver. 8. is the party who sets the enmity ; not in the serpent and his seed, for their enmity is not from God; but in the woman, and her feed there mentioned: but he is none of those in whom the enmity is fet; for the setting of the enmity being an introducing of a hatred, which was not before in the subject, it cannot agree to him. But he is the woman's seed here meant, and he alone : for the bruising away of the serpent's head can agree to none other but him. The head of the ferpent, is that which holds together the venom, in its deadly killing efficacy: and as long as it is hale, the ferpent can kill with his venom. Now, according to the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 56. the strength of fin is the law. Wherefore the brufing away of the ferpent's head, is the a. bolishing of the law as a covenant of works, armed with the curse and threatening of eternal death, in respect of the woman and her feed by imitation' ; i. e. believers. This was a work competent to Chrilt only: and he did it, by satisfying the law fully, in their room and stead. Hereby he disarmed it of its curfe, and as it were grinded to powder the stones, on which the miniitration of death was engraven, as to ihe woman and her beJieving seed: though as to others it ftill remains in its full force. Now, the serpent's head' being bruiled away, his venom is deltroyed, and he can kilt no more; as when a cup is bruiled, the liquor in it perisheth. Sin is

Matth. xiii. 21. who, when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by' are offended. And it is no small advantage in temptation, to see through the bait, that it is but a bait to deceive. For so one will perceive, that it will not quit the cost, that by the bargain they will never

the serpentine venom, most deadly, therefore, metonymically called the head, Deut. xxxii. 33. Poison of dragons, [is] their wine: and head of alps, cruel, i. e. venom of alps, (the containing being put for the contained), cruel renom, that is deadly and killing. So Jesus Chrift bruiling away the ser. pent's head, by his full satisfa&tion made to the law, lin is deftroyed; and Hin being destroyed, death is abolished; and death being abolished, the power of the devil is entirely ruined. The enemies mentioned in the fir& hemiftich, are the serpent, and his feed, on ţhe one fide; the woman and her believing seed, on the other. An unequal match ! How then shall the victory fall to the side of the latter ! Why, an eminent One, the seed of the woman by generation of her body, as his brethren are by imitation of her faith, Mall be more than match for the serpent, and all his power, and quite deftroy it : so fhall the woman and her believing seed be more than conquerors through him. For be shal: bruise away the ferpent's head. Thus the woman's leed is' taken collectively, in the first hemiftich, but here indivi. dually : and this agreeable to the phraseology of the Holy Ghost elfewhere, chap. xxvi. 4. · And I will make to increase even thy feed -and they shall bless themselves in thy seed; all, nations of the ear:h.' The former is meant of the collective body of Isaac's seed, the latter of Christ alone. So chap. xxii. 17, 18. & xxviii. 14. Thus, 2 Sam. vii. 12. 'I will set up even thy feed, after thee 13. That shall build a house, for my name. That, to wit, Solomon, the feed of David by way of eminency. And thou shalt bruise away [to] him the heel, i. e. bruise away his heel, that is, his body in the likeness of finful flesh, with which he trod on earth, liable to infirmities and death. Here is a vehement encounter, bruiling on both sides. But that feed of the woman bruiseth the serpent's head, where the bruise is deadly; the ferpent bruiseth not his head, but his becl, where the bruise is not deadly. This manner of expression looks to what goes before, touching the fin and punishment of the old serpent. And the heat of this battle was on the cross. Upon that tree, that seed of the woman in an erect pofture, and naked, (Heb. xii. 2), bruised the head of the ferpent, and bruised it away, fully satisfying the demands of the law, Jobn xix. 30; destroying fin, Rom. vi, 6; and abolishing death, 2 Tim. i. 10: while the serpent, doomed to go upon the belly, and incapable to reach his head, bruised and bruised away his beel, bringing his mortal body to the dus of death, to the darkness of the grave, never to be seen more, liable to death of infirmity, Rom. vi. 9. Here'ends a closed section. The woman believes the promise: the enmity, set in by efficacious grace, commenceth: and the serpent, in virtue of the curse pronounced upon him, is bur. ried away froni the place of this judgment. But the judgment is not yet over, though the judgment of death is, which the ferpent carries away upon bim, [Compare the author's notes on the Marrow of Modern Divia nity, edit. 1726, P. 41.]

better their condition, Matth. xvi. 26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?'

Fourthly, The mischievous design. The design of the great tempter, and the design of the thing, is always the ruin

[Extracts from the notes on ver. 16-19. must also be omitted for want of room.]

Ver. 20. And the man called, the name of his wife, Eve. The name given her at firft, was taken from man, she being called woman'; or manness, chap. ii. 23 ; for then Adam considered her chiefly as a wife, as one made after his own likeness. But the new name he gave her, after the awful folemnity before described, is taken froin life; for then he eyed her chiefly as a mother, the mother of the living and life-giving feed. And by his naming her so, he declared his faith of the promise. And thus by the same method, that God 'reconciled man to himself, he reconciled the man and his wife, namely, through that promised seed.-=When, she was, mother of all living, namely, of the life-giving seed and his brethren, who shall live for ever. She was mother of these, when she got this name; but of no other. She had then been solemnly declared mother of the Meflias, the feed that shall bruise away the serpent's head; and bad actually commenced mother of all that should believe in him, by believing firft herself. And no other seed of hers had been as yet mentioned, as her feed, but what should be at enmity with the serpent the devil. And what comfort could it have been either to Adam or her, that she was to be the mother of others also ; Gince to them the was to be the mother of death, rather than of life?

Ver. 21.' And Jehovah God made, to Adam and to his wife, coats of fin, and caused them to put (them) on." Coats of skin are fin.coats, or coats made of skin. These skin coats were a humbling memorial to our first pa. rents, of the first spring of their ruin. Satan, by his subtilty, induced them to accuse God, of dealing better by the beafts of the field, than by them, in that these were covered, but they were left naked. Now they are covered like them; and inftead of being like God, are like beasts. Thus the backflider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. I make no question but this clothing of Ada and Eve, was a typical action. Sacrifices were offered by Abel, chap. iv. And if by Abel, then by Adam too before him, from whom he learned it. And being an acceptable piece of service to God, they behoved to be of divine inftitution, which we can no where find, if not in this text. The skins of the sacrifices, by the law of Moses, were given to the priests, Lev. vii. 8: the great promise of Christ to come, which was all along confirmed by facrifices, was now made : the curse was now laid on ihe beasts in man's stead; and so they were fitted to be made sacrifices, as God himself should be pleased to design the kinds of them, to be so used: God spake to Noah, before the flood, concerning clean and unclean beasts, as a distinction well known to him, chap. vii. 2. being hand. ed down from Adam; in token whereof, it is marked, that Abel's sacrifice was of the flock, viz. sheep or goats, which were clean beafts: it was after this that access to the tree of life, a seal of the firit covenant, was blocked up, ver. 24; it was at the wind of the day, ver. 8. that these

« PreviousContinue »