Imatges de pÓgina

And it is evident that the divine breath or spirit given to Adam, was the Spirit of Chrift; for, In him was life, and the life was the light of men.-The true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world; or, the illumination which diftinguishes men from the irrational creatures, confifling in the breath of life which was breathed into Adam, is thus to be traced to the eternal source of the divine word: Accordingly it is faid, Job xxxii. 8. But there is a Spirit in man: and the infpiration of the Almighty giveth them underRanding.

It muft, however, be carefully obferved, that the spirit of knowledge with which Adam was animated and lightened, was not the Spirit of Holinefs; it was merely the light of nature, or a teaching of natural things: the felf-denial, and the confolation -the teaching to know the Father in duty, and to abide in the love of Chrift, given by the Holy Ghost, are things which belong to the other world, and connect only with the humiliation and exaltation of Chrift. Thefe are the humble portions of the poor in Spi rit-the tranfcendently rich legacies of babes! Adam, though he had a mind that could unravel the whole fecret of nature, and command the fea, the air, and the earth, of thefe things fill he knew nothing!

The knowledge of the true God is the life of rational creatures; this is the only proper idea which may be formed of a living foul, or of rational intelligent life. Of this knowledge the Lord Jefus Chrift is the only trea-,

fury, the fole medium, the beginning and the end.This life was given to man, being created in the image of God, and by the divine Spirit endowed with wifdom and knowledge, he became a living foul.-But, according to the divine theory, in the knowledge of God there exifts a great diftinction, viz. First, the knowledge of Chrift as the Beginning, or the truth and glory of God unfolded in the creation; and, Secondly, the knowledge of Christ as the Servant and Son, or the truth and glory of God unfolded in the work of redemp tion and in the kingdom of heaven; and it will be understood that the knowledge and life of Adam, related merely to the beginning, or to this first manifeftation of God in the light and felicity of nature.

The happinefs and glory of Adam, though infinitely thort of the bleffedness of the faints in the kingdom of heaven, was, nevertheless, truly the enjoyment of God; and when the immenfity of the works of creation are confidered, and how perfect and harmonious were all things in their original flate, and that the whole fyftem was full of God; and alfo, how man was capacitated to look into and survey every part of the wonderful flructure, and was, as it were, filled with the light and glory of the whole; I fay, when these things are confidered, it is readily perceived, that his enjoyment was inconceivably great, and that the fource of the happiness of man, in his innocency, was boundlefs.

Moreover, it will from hence be diflinguilhed, that the life of Adam, though it con

fifted in the knowledge and enjoyment of the ever bleffed God, was not however eternal life; but, in its nature, was different from that unspeakable gift which, through grace, is beflowed upon believers; which truth, it has been thought, was intimated by the circumflance of this life of man being breathed into his noftrils. The eternal life is clearly defined in the fcriptures to confift in that commandment of the Father which fent his Son Jefus Chrift into the world, including the re ward of his filial obedience. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jefus Chrift whom thou haft fent: and this knowledge certainly Adam did not poffefs.

But, being united to God by that divine medium of light and knowledge, which is the breath of life, man became a living foul, en. joying the glory and felicity of his Maker, and thereby illuftrating the excellency and bleflednefs of the Lord Chrift; and alfo the divine benevolence in the appointment of him to be the head of the world, and in thus raifing up his creatures to a communion with him in his glory.

Section 5. The Sabbath.

The Ordinance of the Sabbath respects the whole doctrine of Chrift; it embraces amply the threefold glory of the Beginning, the Ser vant, and the Son, and offers the most clear and perfect illuftration of the divine theory,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The Apostle speaking of the Sabbaths enjoined by the law, fays, they are a fhadow of things to come; but the body is of Chrift, Col. ii. 17. The Sabbath was inftituted by the Creator, upon his finishing the heavens and the earth, and all the hoft of them, after fix days; And on the feventh day God ended the work which he had made: and he rested on the feventh day from all his work which he had made. And God bleffed the feventh day, and fanctified it: becaufe that in it he had refted from all his work, which God created and made.

The first Sabbath refpected merely the finishing of the work of creation, and the divine pleafure, in the glory of his eternal purpose, unfolded in the world of nature; and this reafon only was then affigned for the fanctification of the feventh day, that in it God refted from all his work. But as this work of creation was the broad foundation, and every way exact beginning of the difplay of Chrift, we mult conceive of the divine mind as contemplating therein the whole glorious exhibition; and that this was, indeed, the holy and bleffed reft of God-the perfect day, which opened, as it were, upon all his finished work.

And though no mention is made of the obfervance of this day being at firft enjoined upon men, yet, the knowledge of its being fo fanctified and bleffed of God, was a fufficient reason for its being regarded as an holy and bleffed day; and there are fome notices of its being obferved, in the divifions of time by feven days, before the giving of the law, fuch as the following: The Lord faid unto Noah,

E e

Come thou and all thy houfe into the ark: For yet feven days, and I will caufe it to rain upon the earth, Gen. vii.-Alfo Noah fent forth a dove from him, to fee if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground. But the dove found no reft for the fole of her foot. And he stayed yet other feven days, and again he fent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came in to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: fo Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other feven days, and fent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him any more, chap viii.-Jofeph made a mourning for his father in the borders of Canaan feven days. There is alfo the mention of weeks before the law; and fome have fupposed there was a reference to the Sabbath in the account of the offerings of Cain and Abel, which are faid to have been made at the end of days. Many events took place in this difpenfation of time, which clearly pointed to à Sabbath, and to a Sabbath of Sabbaths; fuch as the clean beafts and fowls going into the ark by sevens, the terms of Jacob's fervices in Syria, and the feven plentiful years, and the feven years of famine in Egypt.

The Jewish Sabbath refpected, not only the finifhing of the work of creation, but also the finishing of the fervice-work of the law, and the release of God's people from the bondage of a service state; and, therefore, in addition to the reafon of God's having rested from his works of creation, which is introduced into the fourth commandment, this is alfo ex

« AnteriorContinua »